Sunday, August 10, 2008

Will We Ever Win?

Going out to dinner with Adam is always risky. He has lots of picky eater habits as part of his Asperger Syndrome. When he was a toddler we'd pack his food and go. We thought it would get easier as he got older and would start eating the kids menu.

Nope. As a preschooler he'd:
-eat pizza, but only from Papa Johns.
-eat chicken nuggets, but only from McDonald's.
And although Papa John and McDonald's do count as a night free of cooking, we yearned for being able to eat out at a sit down, take your order family restaurant.

We'd give them tries. On the few times we were able to get Adam to eat even just some of a kids meal at Olive Garden, Don Pablo's or TGIFridays we'd feel like we hit the lottery. But within a few visits Adam would declare that kids meal just wasn't any good anymore. And then we'd be paying for a meal he didn't eat, arguing with him to eat and it was simply not enjoyable even if I didn't have to cook it.

We started date nights at home. On Saturdays we'd feed him dinner and put him to bed. Then we'd order takeout and pop in a movie and open a bottle of wine. It was the closest we could get to a real night out of not cooking, but not having to be fast food. But we still missed actually being able to go out.

I can remember one weekend we headed into the city and packed a picnic lunch. But Adam wouldn't eat it because we were at a different place. Not his home or the school cafeteria that he was used to. Adam refused to eat his lunch that we had packed. He was getting ready to melt down mostly due to lack of food. We were sitting on a bench waiting for him to agree to eat when he jumps up, arms flapping and shouting, “Someone call the hospital! Someone call the hospital! Quick! I’m going to crash!” While attempting to calm him down, Husband and I notice people are looking at us, but from a distance as they walk around our bench to give us more room. We got him calmed down and then he started again with, “Call 911! Someone call 911!” After calming him down again he agreed to eat. By then it was too late. He lost everything he ate right there on the sidewalk he had himself so worked up.

I’m glad no one called 911. We’ve all witnessed children melting down in public. But it's especially not fun when it's your very own.

It really puts a damper on our plans to do outings as a family when he won't eat out or even food from home brought somewhere else.

Luckily all that has really been changing in the last year. We've started a new diet and he has gradually learned to try new foods and to his amazement likes them! Now we can enjoy eating out as a family - except for his food restrictions - no gluten and no casein - have turned eating out into a different challenge. Will we ever win!?!

Luckily for us Red Robin has a gluten/casein free kids meal with free refills. They have become one of our new favorite restaurants to go to. Burger King has also been a new favorite fast food for us - plain hamburger, take off the bun and either apple fries or real fries.

We've been waiting a long time, but we can finally go out to dinner with Adam, and enjoy it.

This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by Burger King Corp.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

YEY! It's getting better!